Kudos to Durston

I realize that this is preaching to the choir a bit but I want to
give a public thank you to Matthew at Durston.

Around the holidays, I posted asking about getting an aged and
somewhat ill-cared for Durston rolling mill repaired. The rolls
needed some attention and there were two broken gears that needed to
be replaced. Right after I posted, I got both an online and offline
response from Matthew Durston. Information was exchanged and long
story short is that Matthew took care of me and my rolling mill
problems. I now have functional parts that just need to be
reassembled and the mill will be better than new.

I personally feel that the true measure of any company is how well
they take care of their customers when there are problems. By that
yardstick, Durston is fantastic. They stand behind their products
100% and that is the mark of an excellent company.

Couldn’t agree more with Cheree. I recently began some enquiries with
a company and they directly avoided all my questions that had to do
with price and quality of service. Then they wrote me and asked why
hadn’t they heard from me. I told them flatly that if they avoided my
questions before I was a customer, then I could foresee what problems
I might have when asking some followup questions after purchasing.
After sales service could be nil. And there are plenty other
companies to do business with. Barbara on PEI where the Easter Bunny
had to be a Snowshoe Hare to get around the island in a snowstorm.
\Thankful it is all melted now.

My experience with Durston was considerably different. Last year, I
purchased a new Durston rolling mill (my long awaited dream
fulfilled). To position it on my workbench, I looked in the
documentation for a “mounting template” that would show where to
drill the holes for bolting the mill down. Not finding it in the
documents or on their website, I emailed Durston twice (July and
August)…no response. Finally, I got a response from Matthew in
September asking me to contact him the following week… which I did.
Two weeks later, still no … I contacted him again (not
wanting to let him off the hook)… he professes to have sent the
measurements by email… but I did not receive them. Then I
contacted him again…and I am still waiting for the mounting
template. This is not what I call good after sales service… sorely
disappointing, especially when you consider the price tag!


Dito on Cheree’s message. I had a similar problem a few years ago
and Matthew was very helpful in getting it taken care of. A first
rate company. Dave Owen

for anyone that moves out of hand working to mechanisation, it is
normal for the machine maker to assume that the person installing the
mechanical aid has some degree of competence. Did it not occour to
you to turn the mill on its side on a bench, get a cornflakes packet
and gently tap on the cardboard against the machined edge of the base
to cut your own template? and use a ball peen hammer to do the same
where the holes come?

Standard common sense engineering.

Or if thats too difficult put the mill on the said card board and
draw around it and do the same with the holes?

I just hope that the mill isnt just lying there awaiting
installation with you getting fed up with it all!!

Do you have the means of drilling the 1/2in dia holes? once youve
the template and the right length bolts and washers to hold it down?
Also have you thought through the strength of bench you need? once
youve cut your template.

If you do it all yourself, youll get a lot ofsatisfaction in
exploring all the things you can do with it.


Sandy, the one thing that you can do in a situation like this is make
sure that emails from Durston are not ending up in your spam file.
Sometimes spam is emptied every time you close down the computer.
Make sure Durston is on your list to receive mail. I’m not saying it
did go into spam, only that it might have done so.

Hope your days in Peterborough are as lovely as ours here on PEI
now, Enjoy the spring.


Sandy, Template? You need a template? How about you put the mill on
the bench top where you want it and use that as a template? You just
select the proper diameter drill (same size as the bolt), and run it.

down through the holes in the mill’s base. Voila! mission

Jerry in Kodiak

Sandy, sorry for the bad service you received. It is always more
difficult in August as we are closed for most of August and then we
have our exhibition in Hong Kong. - However, the main reason for
delay was that we moved to our new factory last year and it slowed
up some queries. - If you are still waiting for please
email me direct.


Durston Rolling Mills
Grafton Street
High Wycmbe
Bucks HP12 3AJ

It seems to me that you could have made your own template of the
mounting holes very easily.

All you would have had to do is to place a piece of paper under the
mill& draw around the inside of the mounting holes in the base of the



I don’t think you need a mounting template to bolt down your rolling
mill. A sharp pencil, drill bit and electric hand drill should be all
you need. When you’ve finally figured out where the mill will sit (
whether on a heavy, secured bench, or metal pedestal ), just trace
carefully around the inside of the bolt holes on the mill, move the
mill aside, and drill through the center of the circles you’ve drawn
with the right size drill bit. Always bolt through with the biggest
bolts that will fit your mounting holes, and tighten up the nuts with
a wrench.

Honestly, I’d trust my tracing skills with a pencil far more than a
template which may or may not be accurate for your mill.

Good luck and happy drilling!

Jay Whaley


It takes 5 minutes to mark the position of a rolling mill if at all.
I never recieved a template for my Durston rolling mill and I never
cared about having one. You have to check out if that template fits
your mill. You’ve have to turn that mill upside down anyway so make
your own with your mill as best example before you have to make
another call that the delivered template was wrong if this is the
case. It takes more time to write an e-mail or to make a call then to
make a simple 2 dimentional template…come-on! There are fifty
way’s to leave your lover and also to make a simple precise

My rolling mill came without a stand, never ordered one. Same day I
figured out how to make a wooden stand myself, made it, bold it down
and a few minutes later I was rolling my first sheet. After 7 years
(in this location) it is still standing as like poored in concrete.
Being handy solves most of the trouble you have with making calls
and writing mails. The best part is, I don’t have to worry about
receiving a template. Easy way of living which served me well.

A better service is when they install your mill at your location. I’m
kidding, just making some fun. I’m not offending anyone-)

Have fun and enjoy

Thanks to all Ganoksinians (is that a word?) who commented on my

It wasn’t my intention to rain on anyones’s parade… I just wanted
to express a different experience. Thanks for all of your
suggestions,… perhaps others will benefit from my experience and
this discussion.

Yes, I did try to make my own template… which worked fine to create
an outline, but the bolt holes on this mill are not on the outside,
they are on the underside of the cast mill base. On one hand, this is
a good thing, as it gives a cleaner look to the base and takes up
less space on the bench. On the other hand, the holes are not easily
accessible because of the lower hand wheel. So no, you cannot get a
drill bit in there, let alone a drill…or a pencil, or a transfer
punch, etc. Some smaller mills come with “external” bolt holes in the
base… so I can understand why some might have thought this was a
no-brainer…but this is not the case with this mill (D2-130).
Pictures are available on the Durston website in their (excellent)
Instruction Manual…if you want the visuals.

The mill weighs over 150 pounds (that’s not a complaint…!) which
for me is not an easy thing to move, let alone turn on it’s side as
one reader suggested (I’ve tried). Hey, I am relatively fit, but not
able to lift more than my own weight!. So what seems like a simple
solution to one person, is not necessarily so for everyone.

Yes, I’m handy enough to know how to drill through a 1BE inch wood
bench (yes, it’s sturdy enough), and thanks to the mill’s heavy
weight, I have been able to use the mill all this time (and very
happy with what I’ve been able to do with it), but I’d feel better
if it was mounted securely. All I asked for was a template. Were my
expectations too high? Over the years, I’ve had a new wall oven and
counter-top stove and a sink installed… each came with a mounting
template. I didn’t think I was asking too much.

The happy ending to this story is that I am communicating with
Matthew Durston off-line on this matter, and he is doing his utmost
to get me what I need. I am now a happy camper, and I can join in
the chorus of kudos for Durston. I also wanted to say thank you for
your comments. It’s nice to be part of this sharing community.


Something I have noticed over the many years I have been a member of
Orchid is that the replies that people post are related to their own
experience, lack of experience, or their assumptions and opinions
that are just opinions with no relationship to what is being

Some people actually are processing info and making theoretical
guesses. Some people think they can relate their experience with
something to what the poster is discussing without actually knowing
that there might be a difference What is apparent to me is that
sometimes people think they are relating, my opinion is they are
exploring possibilities that do not relate to the actual reality of
the situation the original poster.

Yes, I did try to make my own template... which worked fine to
create an outline, but the bolt holes on this mill are not on the
outside, they are on the underside of the cast mill base. 

This is an example of how what some people know does not apply to
your situation. I thought “Why doesn’t she just make a template, if
she can’t make a template for a mill, how can she make jewelry?”

My mills all have bolt holes on the outside. I have never seen one
like yours. Part of what is interesting in this form of an online
forum is how I have to learn a different form of communication. One
post can result in 30-40 responses, and I have to sort through and
figure out who knows what, and how the replies apply to what I A

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.

My mills all have bolt holes on the outside. I have never seen one
like yours. Part of what is interesting in this form of an online
forum is how I have to learn a different form of communication.
One post can result in 30-40 responses, and I have to sort through
and figure out who knows what, and how the replies apply to what I

Apparently I hit send instead of save draft…had not completed my
thoughts. "One post can result in 30-40 responses, and I have to sort
through and

figure out who knows what," and how the replies apply to what I need
to know to acquire knowledge to accomplish a goal or understand a
process. One other thing I notice is that some people acquire
knowledge in one field, for example, with ferrous metals and make an
extrapolation relating their experience with that of working with
gold or sterling. There might be some cross over in some ways,
larger tools for ferrous, same type but smaller for non ferrous, but
some processes, while similar, are absol= utely not. Casting steel
and casting gold or sterling. Seems like some people try to compare
apples with apples when it is apples with bananas.

Just my experience of reading posts and knowing that some people
write from what hey know and some people write from what they think
they know.

Hope I am making some sense…sinus surgery last Thurs., starting a
4-6 week course of intravenous antibiotics, one half hour every day
having poison chemicals pumped into me for a drug resistant bacteria
I have not been able to get rid of over the last two years. Did not
fasten my seat belt on the way to having a PICC line inserted.

All the things I have done over the years where I did not pay
attention to protect myself from hazards of using chemicals,
investment, ect. and I apparently picked up MRSA one of the times my
wife was in the hospital, in spite of how careful I was about washing
hands, not touching anything I did not need to touch, ect.

As the Grateful Dead said, “If the lighting don’t get you then the
thunder will…”

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


I appreciate your reply on the Durston post. I too made the same
assumption in my mind regarding the simplicity of the bolt layout.
You know what they say about ASSUME. So thank you for making a
public post in this regard.

And to Sandy, your response to all of the unhelpful responses was
extremely gracious and polite. You absolutely had a right to be
disappointed in Durston, but am happy to hear that your needs are
now being met by Matthew Durston.

And finally Richard, best wishes as you fight MRSA. It’s a nasty one.
But don’t beat yourself up too much regarding “catching” it in the
hospital. You might have picked it up almost anywhere. Roughly 20% of
the population carries MRSA on their skin or in their nasal cavities,
without any symptoms (according to an ICU Hospitalist). My Dad was in
ICU (for heart disease) and in isolation for MRSA, not because he was
sick with MRSA, but because he was a carrier. They test 100% of ICU
admissions for MRSA regardless of why they are in ICU. The put MRSA
carriers into isolation because the balance of the ICU population is
usually immune-compromised and at risk for catching MRSA.